Do you recommend Jersey bulls?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Unregistered-1427815803, May 6, 2004.

  1. We have a Jersey bull a little over 1 year old that we bought in anticipation of using him to breed a Jersey or Holstein heifer when we found one. While he hasn't given us any problems yet (he has not bred), we've heard a lot of people say that Jersey bulls can be difficult or dangerous. Is this more common or a rarity that the bulls get an attitude? I guess what we're asking is should we go ahead and try to sell him now and not take a chance on an attitude change or keep him and see how he matures? He is a little bit skittish (backs away whenever anyone approaches) but other than that he's caused no problems for us.

    We'd appreciate everyone's thoughts on this, as we are first-time cattle people and are trying to learn as we go.

    Thanks in advance.
    Joey-n-Becky
     
  2. Joey-n-Becky

    Joey-n-Becky New Member

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    Just wanted you to know we registered after posting this message, so if you want to contact us, you'll have our user information now.

    Thanks again.
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    Jersey bull problems are common enough that it is common knowledge! This is true of other dairy breeds as well. Can't say I've heard the same things about beef bulls.

    It is GOOD that your bull backs off when you approach. In my opinion, that is how a bovine should behave, but of course, I don't milk anything.

    I don't think there's any way you can anticipate if your bull will go bad. Apparently, they just snap with little or no warning.

    I would not keep a dairy bull. AI is simple enough.

    Jena
     
  4. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    i used to sell the jerseys at 7-8 months old never had a problem (knock on wood) but after a yr old i don't know , just take care ,and as Jena said A>I> is cheap and you can use a quality bull cheaper than keepin one.
     
  5. Scottland Jerseys

    Scottland Jerseys Active Member

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    It's a rare Jersey bull that doesn't develop an attitude. They are deadly dangerous. It's just a matter of when, not if. Keep that in mind, ALWAYS. We seldom see an attitude at one year. It usually starts developing after one year and continues to increase until they reach full maturity. The only way we have found them a little easier to handle is to keep them in numbers within a herd. They are still dangerous and should be respected. Never turn your back on him. Do not make a pet out of him.
     
  6. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I never turn my back on my angus bulls.

    If Jerseys are that prone to an attitude, then I wouldn't even go in the pen without at least a 2x4 in my hand and an escape route in mind.

    Whatever the escape route is...it had better include some kind of barrier that can hold back a crazy bull!

    If you are new to cattle, please....don't keep him! If you don't have STOUT fencing, please...don't keep him!

    No animal is worth dying for.

    Jena
     
  7. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    In my opinion, if you don't have a lot of experience handling bulls, you don't need a Jersey bull. You really don't have enough females to occupy a bull and you are going to find that he's more trouble than he's worth. It would probably be far wiser to do either take the little gal out to be bred, lease a young bull from someone else and let them deal with the resulting problems or simply AI. Bulls are only useful for a short period of time and after that, they seem to cause problems. They get cranky when they aren't breeding, they tend to wander after they've covered their own herd and you need super strong facilities to keep them in.
     
  8. AR Transplant

    AR Transplant Well-Known Member

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    This is when I wish I knew more about computers. Somewhere in the archives of homesteading today is an excellent thread titled " How long for jersey bull to bred" it's in the dairy thread. I saved it but I don't know how to send it to you.
    Anyway, it's an excellent thread about the absolute dangers of jersey bulls.

    They are unpredictable and mean. Also, one or two farm wives a year are killed by their cattle.
    After reading this article, I am convinced that I won't have a jersey bull on this farm. My Isabella is supposed to have her calf any day now. She is bred to a full jersey and we have decided that if it's a bull we will sell him a soon as possible.

    Also, two years ago, my then 11 year old daughter bottle fed an angus bull calf, when he was about 7 months old he knocked her down just because he was playing. I quickly got over my "attachment" and he was sold that week.

    Nope, nada, never never, turn your back on a bull.

    After Isabella has her calf I asked my husband if I could not breed her for at least a couple of months. He said that there wasn't a fence on the property that would keep "billy bob" away from her.

    Hope you can find this thread, maybe someone that knows more about computers can find it for you.

    And, I wish you the best.
    We are going to be outside most of this weekend, so I probably won't check my email again till Monday.

    AR Transplant
     
  9. Jim S.

    Jim S. Well-Known Member

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    My advice would be to breed a beef bull to your dairy cow, so that you get a beefier calf to sell at auction or for your own meat later.

    I do love the "look" of a Jersey cow, but they have slipped in popularity to the Holsteins, as have all other dairy breeds.

    Jerseys and Angus are notorious breeds for bulls. I know a man, now deceased, who was out putting a bag of feed in the feeder for his Angus bull when it suddenly charged him. He managed to get under the feeder after the first hit, only because he had never turned his back on the bull and saw it coming, but the bull did not give up and though the feeder protected him, the man did sustain a broken back. Bulls are quick.

    My father-in-law ran a Hereford bull. He too is deceased, but that Hereford is still on the farm breeding his Angus/dairy cross cows for my mother-in-law. Hereford is a gentler breed bull, IMHO. He got the black baldies but had a gentler bull.

    I always ran Simmental, a very gentle bull as well, to get the Continental cross on my mixed cows. Simmentals are beefy and were originally bred as a meat/dairy/draft animal, so they are even-tempered. Limosin are in the same category as far as meat/draft breeding.

    Whatever bull you use, it is important to get them used to you being around and in close proximity. I liked to do that by keeping the bull up in the barnyard for the first couple weeks and getting him used to me being around in there with him and occasionally handing him out some range cubes. The barnyard allows for a quick escape should something go wrong.

    I have since sold my cows, but I used to winter a different young bull every year under an arrangement with another farmer where he got the winter weight gain and I got the service. So it was important that I tame each one coming in.

    I would suggest you might find a similar arrangement with a larger herd owner in your area if you get to where you are running a few head of your own cows. It has advantages, including that no bull on the place 9 months a year saves you upkeep costs and brings all your cows into sync on heat. When you then introduce the bull and his phermones, the cows all cycle right along. At the end, I had it where all my calves would be dropped within a 10-12 day window...with natural service.

    At any rate, the advice here is valid...don't turn your back on any bull. And be sure your bull always can clearly see you, too. Don't move in and out of his blind spots (directly in front of and directly behind him). When you are with your bull, you want to make predictable and measured moves. As you tame it up, you want to move in the same ways each time and talk low to it while you do that. Take your time around the bull and don't rodeo it or even try to be in doing stuff with it when you are in a hurry to get on to something else. All those things are picked up by the bull, who can interpret them as threats to its well-being.

    Well, I've yammered enough. Hope it helps somehow.
     
  10. The Jersey cow is making a BIG comeback. A lot of holstein herds are adding Jerseys to their herd because the Jerseys have better test.

    If you don't have your Jersey cow/heifer yet, get rid of the bull. You don't need a bull for only 1 or 2 animals. It's just not worth the risk. Just use AI or take your animal to a farmer who has a bull.

    All bulls can be dangereous but Jerseys seem more so because they are smaller and quicker. Never keep a bull that is not dehorned.

    We are dairy farmers who have guernseys. My husband always puts a yearling bull out with the heifers. After he has them bred, the bull is shipped to the sale barn. My husband does keep an older bull for breeding older cows, but the bull is kept in a special pen and not allowed to run in the pasture with the cows for safety reasons.

    You can never be too careful around bulls.
     
  11. Joey-n-Becky

    Joey-n-Becky New Member

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    Well from what you all say, and we have heard similar stories in the past, it looks like Norman will be on his way to sale next week. :waa: We can't afford to have a potential problem or accident waiting to happen. We really do appreciate your input and it really confirmed what we thought was inevitable anyway. He was so cute when we got him and we thought we might be able to tame him down by hand feeding and lots of attention. We also fell in love with a longhorn heifer and bought her even though we knew we would not eat her offspring. I guess she will need to go also. Atleast we can pet and love on the heifer. I hate not having cows here because I get enjoyment just watching them graze on our small place and can't guarantee when we will be able to find a milk cow.
    Thanks again all! :rolleyes:
     
  12. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Actually, I think that sometimes bulls that spend too much time with people are even worse than those that don't. I ended up baby sitting a show bull and he had no respect for humans at all and most that have kept bottle babies have told me much the same thing. I think you've made a very wise choice. I'm curious as to why you wouldn't eat offspring of the longhorn heifer?
     
  13. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    There is speculation that dairy bulls are so dangerous because they are raised by humans and don't learn to respect them.

    Call me a chicken, but I am not comfortable turning any bovine into a pet. They are just too big and if they get annoyed with you...there you go flying across the pasture. I prefer them to not be afraid of me....but not get too close either.

    Jena
     
  14. wr

    wr Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I tend to agree with you Jena, I like them to keep a respectful distance. I think it works both ways though, the cattle are overly familiar with people and people assume that since they were hand raised, they are more quiet or possibly tamer
     
  15. I have raised Jersey bulls since I was a kid 1960's I have found that some bulls are mean and some are very gentle. I raise about 20 Jersey steers every year and some bulls. I have a Jersey bull that is 3-4 years old and have never had a problem with him but I have one that is a year old and he paws the dirt and acts real mean. I never trust any bull or cow, they will do the unexpected every time. We were raising show bulls when I was about 15 years old, I went to untie one and he horn my leg and missed my---- by about 1". I never trust one. If he is too mean he makes great hamburger. Jesey bulls are cheap to raise and you can use them for breeding purposed before they are a year old and then get rid of them if they are mean.
     
  16. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cut his little knackers off, put him on good corn for 60 days, and call the butcher. Jersey bulls are nasty little bastards. They make excelent beef, just don't be turned off by the yellow fat.
     
  17. Bullrunner

    Bullrunner Member

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    I agree with those that tell you to beware. I have spent a lot of time around bulls and they are unpredictable and dangerous. The fact that he backs off is just common behavior for livestock. Except for those rare few that get handled alot. I don't want to sound mean but either sell him to someone looking for a bull for thier herd or steer him and stick him in the freezer in another year. A steer is generally better behaved. Remember they don't know thier own strength and you don't want anyone tossed around by an animal because they weren't careful. Don't let me scare you raising cattle is great and it's good you seek advice just always be cautious. God Bless
     
  18. JanH

    JanH Well-Known Member

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    Any bull of any breed can be mean or made mean. Knowing how to read cattle helps a lot. Growing up I was around a full grown Charolais bull...a curry comb would turn him into mush. But we were always taught he was not a pet, and never get between him and a cow...he wasn't mean but was powerful.

    I've been around several Jersey bulls and they've not been mean. I didn't completely trust them because of reputation...and always left an out. I recall a red and white Holstein at a place I worked - guy said he was mean. I'd been over on the other side of the fence and the only thing mean was he like scratching and didn't know his own strength...turned out the guy had used a pitchfork on him. I think I'd get a little cranky too! :haha:
    There's a few big things...don't rub/pat the top of the head...even when they're little and cute. If they never learn it's acceptable to play or swing their heads at you it's good.

    Any bull can be dangerous. And many are good, beef and dairy bulls alike. That said, for 1-2 cows a bull isn't really needed...other ways to get her bred.
     
  19. we had a jersey bull here. he was supposed to be a steer, but the vet missed one and, not crawling around under the cattle, I didn't notice. he turned about 12 months and got a serious attitude. the first sign of trouble was when he broke through the fence and rampaged around the yard. I was at the barn with the boys, ages 5 and 9, when the jersey devil came around the corner bellowing and snorting. fortunately. i had a pitchfork in my hand and got him in the forehead while the boys climbed up to the loft. I sent them to the house while I kept the fork on the bull's head. he was not happy. I really thought it was time for me to meet the Lord. the other cattle started a ruckus, which distracted him long enough for me to make a dash to the house. he stayed in the yard for awhile, slashing through the shrubbery and attacking the car, denting it up and breaking a taillight. he finally went back into the pasture looking for water. I ventured from the house to put a hotwire up where he had broken through, but he saw me coming and charged back across to the fence break. needless to say, i retreated to the house again. I called some neighbors who had a roping horse, and the boys and I stayed in the house until the "cowboys" had the bull roped and loaded on the trailer. to make a long story have a point-DON'T KEEP A BULL_ ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE NOT EXPERIENCED WITH THEM!!! THEY CAN BE DEADLY!!I CONSIDER MYSELF AND MY CHILDREN VERY LUCKY!!!!!